This time last year I had preschool on the brain. The county we live in is notoriously competitive in all aspects of education and finger painting and playing in the sandbox while earning your pre-K stripes is no different. I toured numerous schools, researched online for hours, and grilled anyone that had any knowledge of the best preschools in our area. After much stress and deliberation, we picked a preschool that impressed us in every way, but we were floored by the price. Can you get a 529 for preschool?
When hubby saw the tuition bill he was a bit shocked, but I was prepared with an argument that justified each and every penny. Every aspect of this preschool impressed me and I knew it was the right place for Monkey. I was even prepared to give up daily Starbucks trips if that would help sway Hubby to agreeing to the school (yeah right). What I wasn’t prepared for was the preschool pyramid schemes.
First it started with school pictures. Remember when you would get a tiny envelope with an even smaller print of your school picture? Your parents were given a few days to choose which package they wanted and how many wallets and 5x7s they needed to give to grandma. Well it would seem preschools have found a way around kids losing these envelopes or parents forgetting to order this year’s school picture because Monkey’s school sent home a huge package with wallets, 4x6s, 5×7, and 8x10s with a note attached. The note basically said you could pay for the package (if you are a good parent), order more pictures (if you are a great parent), or return all of the pictures (if you are an evil, crap, waste of a parent).
Look at this picture:
Who in their right mind could return any of these? Find me my checkbook! Everyone gets a picture! I am like Oprah but without the car and just a cute kid in his first school picture.
“You get a picture!”
“You get a picture!”
“Everyone gets a ppppiiiicccctttuuuurrreee!”
Of course the school is getting a kickback from suckers like me that can’t bear to not buy every single picture they send home. They are also getting a kickback from the parents that missed the cutoff, were too embarrassed to admit how late they were, and just handed over a check. Brilliant on their part, right?
But the pyramid schemes didn’t end there. This week I received a note that explains each student will submit artwork to a company that will take the work of your Picasso and turn it into a coffee mug, iPad cover, and all sorts of useless crap you don’t need, but guess who will buy it? ME!
My only hope is that he continues the minimalist theme in his artwork, and I won’t have to buy this crap.But if he decides to go a little crazy and actually puts a little effort into his art sample, well then, watch out! I will be getting all Oprah again and handing out travel mugs with Monkey’s handiwork to everyone I meet.
I know it could be worse. The school could ask us to participate in constant fundraisers where I force my mom and dad to buy wrapping paper or frozen cookie dough.
A long time ago (probably after college when I was just hanging out at my parents’ house until I figured out what I wanted to do with my life), my dad promised me he would always pay for three things: my education, my teeth, and my running shoes. You know what, he has kept to that promise. So I will promise Monkey and Mimi that I will always pay for their education (no matter what stage they are in), their teeth (lord help them if they end up with my chompers, it is the least I can do), and all of the silly, overpriced nonsense that comes with school, camps, clubs, Disney on Ice, and anything else that comes
at my checkbook our way.